Possibly the Most Insightful Welles Documentary Ever

(Orson tracked down and cornered by another filmmaker)

Mark Cousins’ The Eyes of Orson Welles (shown this week on Turner) is very impressive and imaginative. His creative and critical response to Welles’ work and life made a no. of surprisingly new connections and revelations. Often visually arresting and startling, Cousins’ cinematography is mixed memorably with Welles’s. He revisits old places the filmmaker lived in addition to many film sites. (Lots of intriguing then and now moments.)

The film is, overall, a personal, intimate ‘letter’ to Welles with Cousins addressing him (with his distinctive Irish accent) directly and asking questions throughout. It is quite refreshingly different from any other documentary made about any artist and never boring. Many themes of Welles are uncovered via his previously unseen drawings and paintings. Numerous never-seen-before clips of Welles talking are also shown. The 2 hr. documentary will have aficionados going back to Welles’ work to reconsider what they learn from Cousins’ research and ‘detective work’. Two thumbs way up.

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